Hiking in the Bavarian and Salzburg Alps

I too got the opportunity to go on my first Eurohike holiday this year. As I have proudly been responsible for the King’s Lake tours, I decided to go hiking from Lake Königssee into the Hochkönig’s mountain kingdom on the tour "Bavarian & Salzburg Alps". I was accompanied by a good friend on the tour.

Wanderer in den Bayerischen Alpen

Arrival in Schönau am Königssee

The weather forecast could have been better. Rain was forecast every day for the first stages. Upon our arrival in Schönau we were thankfully spared any rain so we decided to go and explore Schönau and Lake Königssee (the King’s lake). We were rewarded for our short walk to the ‘Malerwinkel’ with a breathtaking view across the lake. Our dinner that evening in Hotel Bergheimat couldn’t have been better. Along with the excellent food, the hotel had a great location, lovely rooms and friendly employees.

Hintersee

Through the Berchtesgaden National Park to Weißbach

The following morning we were picked up by a taxi to take us to our starting point in Ramsau. Before that we had a large breakfast in the hotel. We walked through the ‘Zauberwald’ and Berchtesgaden National Park to the idyllic Lake Hintersee. The walk through the wonderful scenery was exceptional and the section through the ‘Seisenbergklamm’ (a gorge) topped it off. We were warmly received by the same-named hotel and we had everything that we needed there.

Ausblick von der Marbachhöhe

From Maria Alm to Marbachhöhe and Dienten

Once again we were picked up by taxi and this time taken from Weißbach to Maria Alm. We walked on well built footpaths via the Pinzgauer Grasberge up to the Marbachhöhe at about 1800m above sea level. The clouds prevented us being able to see the Hochkönig and the Hohen Tauern but the ascent was rewarding anyway. The walk then headed towards the valley to Dienten where we were going to stay at Hotel Hochkönig. This hotel had been newly renovated and it had a lovely spa area as well as great local specialities. It even had its own slaughtery. That evening we both ate the best trout of our lives there.

Blick auf das Arthurhaus

Detour to Arthurhaus

On the 4th day the weather turned really bad. We started the walk in heavy rain, which turned into snow once we got up to an altitude of about 1300m. Amid thick cloud we then spotted the Erichhütte where we took a break for a “Kaspressknedlsuppn”, which is like a fried flattened cheese dumpling in a soup. After some deliberation we decided to not continue with the walk and to take the hiking bus instead. This is free for anyone with a Hochkönig Card, which every guest who stays at the Hotel Hochkönig gets given. The card also provides a lot of other benefits too. Anyway we took the bus for free and we got off at the Berghotel Arthurhaus. As soon as we got there we were enthused by this traditional building, which has been modernised in part and even has a spa area.

Rest day at the foot of the Hochkönig

We had a traditional ‘Alm’ (little mountain hut) breakfast in the neighbouring Schweizerhütte. Hotel Arthurhaus offers breakfast at the Schweizerhütte once a week. We were spoilt with local food and homemade dairy produce there. Unfortunately the weather hadn’t improved and we still couldn’t see the Hochkönig. Nevertheless, we still went on a short walk to the four huts. On nice days a circular walk to the Hochkeil is recommended or for ambitious walkers to the Matrashaus am Hochkönig.

Valley walk to Werfen

Even on the day we departed from the Arthurhaus, we still couldn’t see the Hochkönig due to heavy cloud cover. Our walk went along lovely forest paths downhill all the way to Werfen. In the afternoon, the sun even came out! Towards the end of the stage we could enjoy a lovely view of the Tennen mountains and Hohenwerfen castle. If you have time, I can highly recommend a trip into the castle. We then took the train from Werfen to Golling where we stayed at Hotel Golingen. The hospitality there was tremendous. The hotel charms its visitors with lovely decoration, a spa area and an organic breakfast.

Ausblick vom Stahlhaus

From the Bluntau valley to Carl von Stahlhaus

The last day was the longest and most demanding day of the tour. The sun was shining too! The taxi picked us up and took us to the Bluntau valley. It is no wonder that the Bluntau valley nature protection area is one of the nicest areas within the province of Salzburg. The wonderful forest area had several small streams and waterfalls, which impress walkers both up close and from a distance. Out of the trees, we went past cows and small huts. The whole way we were surrounded by massive mountains. Gradually we got closer to our destination. After about 4 hours walking we were rewarded with the amazing view that you get from Stahlhaus. Normally the walk would continue for about an hour up to the summit of the Jenner mountain followed by a cable car ride back down into the valley. However as the Jennerbahn cable car is being rebuilt and won’t be in action until 2018, we took an alternative route down to Vorderbrand guest house. We finished off our walk here and ate “Kasnockn”, which was a perfect end to the tour.

Overall I can say that my first Eurohike tour was thoroughly enjoyable. The weather wasn’t exactly the best, however I enjoyed every single stage due to the wonderful nature. The hospitality of the locals, the lovely hotels and the good food left us with no desires. For those of you who want to get out and about and enjoy beautiful panoramic views alongside tasty and traditional food, I highly recommend this tour to you. 

Thomas

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